Jump to content

How to make balanced custom cards


Recommended Posts

Once you have made a mechanic for your archetype, you'd want to make sure that you have a Hard Once per Turn (HOPT) on your cards.  Also, you want to make sure that the effect(s) on your cards do not make the opponent unable to play.  Try not to make your mechanics too complex, as that can affect the way you design cards.  

Keep in mind that yugioh is a 2 player game, and that managing resources (i.e card advantage) is vital to designing as well as balancing your cards.  

Searchers

A searcher is what you want to run 3 copies of for your archetype, as they help you get your archetype started.  If you made an omni-searcher (a card that searches everything [monster/spell/trap card]) in your archetype, then it's safe to say that card (whatever it is) is a starter for your archetype, as it gets your archetype going, so please put a HOPT on the searcher, whatever they may be.  This holds true if the archetype has 2 searchers - one to search for monster cards within that archetype and another for Spell/Traps for that archetype.  

Recyclers

A recycler is something that gets back whatever has been used up before so that you can use it next turn. Usually you want to run 2-3 copies of those (but usually at most 2 copies at best). Like the searchers, put a hard once per turn on them so that they won't get looped.  

Extenders 

An extender is something that helps your archetype if they get interrupted in some way via its mechanic.    

Other effects 

Be wary of card advantage when making your cards (whether it be monsters, Spell, or Trap cards).  This hold true even for removal as well (stuff that breaks the opponent's board).  

For example, stuff that sends from the Deck/Extra Deck to the GY is broken depending on whether the target(s) that are sent are broken and how the card is worded, even if the card has a HOPT on it, the cards it may send may be unbalanced, so keep that in mind.  

Stuff that causes an FTK are frowned upon, as they prevent your opponent from playing.   

Avoid putting unaffected by card effects on every card, as the only way out from this is hard draw a Kaiju or lose, which will cause the opponent to quit.  Not to mention that in the TCG pool, very few cards say unaffected as they are very powerful.  

Generic Cards

Generic cards can become very problematic in card design when it comes to balance. Take for example, the following cases:

  1. Link-2 Isolde enables any deck that screams Warrior Equip or any Warrior based Deck.
  2. Baronne enables any Synchro based strategy.  
  3. Union Carrier caused the buster lock where it locks the opponent out of the Extra Deck.  
  4. Auroradon caused a lot of shenanigans despite it being a Mechanic-Phantom Beast. 
  5. Crystron Halq caused a lot of Tuners to get banned, hence it was limited when the time was right. 

Do not make materials for monsters to be too generic, as that causes a LOT of problems you may not know.  If you are making a generic card, make sure that you are very careful as you may encounter something your card might not expect.  

Other things to keep in mind

The number of cards in an archetype may affect your archetype's balance.  For example, if your archetype has 165 cards just to justify it being playable, chances are that the archetype is badly designed, as that can put the archetype in Tier 0 category and can play through everything.  Like if you think about it, HEROes are the largest archetype, and hence have several sub-archetypes. No one wants to read 165 cards in one submission.

Plus also to keep in mind, that if your custom archetype is an engine, it shouldn't enable every single archetype, lest it runs the risk of becoming the next Brave engine.  Engines are meant to help specific archetype(s), not all.  The Brave engine gets a omni-negate for free, which screams very bad design as well.  

Sometimes what you name your archetype can affect balance as well as it will conflict with existing cards.  To make sure this does not happen, go to duelingbook and type the name of your archetype and look for existing cards, then if the # of cards with that name is zero, that name can be used, otherwise it cannot be used as it will conflict with existing cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Surge77754
grammar mistake
  • Like 2
  • Shiba Inu 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/21/2022 at 2:58 PM, Surge77754 said:

Once you have made a mechanic for your archetype, you'd want to make sure that you have a Hard Once per Turn (HOPT) on your cards.  Also, you want to make sure that the effect(s) on your cards do not make the opponent unable to play.  Try not to make your mechanics too complex, as that can affect the way you design cards.  

Keep in mind that yugioh is a 2 player game, and that managing resources (i.e card advantage) is vital to designing as well as balancing your cards.  

Searchers

A searcher is what you want to run 3 copies of for your archetype, as they help you get your archetype started.  If you made an omni-searcher (a card that searches everything [monster/spell/trap card]) in your archetype, then it's safe to say that card (whatever it is) is a starter for your archetype, as it gets your archetype going, so please put a HOPT on the searcher, whatever they may be.  This holds true if the archetype has 2 searchers - one to search for monster cards within that archetype and another for Spell/Traps for that archetype.

The card that is anything you need. They get cards from out of your deck and is the big ash target. Some archetypes have multiple omni searchers without any OPT. The power of the searcher can be amplified by providing alternate restrictions and costs. Just please don't allow a free replacement of 1 card for 2+.

Recyclers

A recycler is something that gets back whatever has been used up before so that you can use it next turn. Usually you want to run 2-3 copies of those (but usually at most 2 copies at best). Like the searchers, put a hard once per turn on them so that they won't get looped. 

Looping recyclers! While they exist sometimes, the biggest thing to watch out for is how you recycles. Banishd to GY, GY to deck. anything to hand or field is also drrastically more powerful.

Extenders 

An extender is something that helps your archetype if they get interrupted in some way via its mechanic.

Typically cards with self-special summoning effects. Lots of starters are also extenders. Basically, these are the cards that glue together plays.

Other effects 

Be wary of card advantage when making your cards (whether it be monsters, Spell, or Trap cards).  This hold true even for removal as well (stuff that breaks the opponent's board).  (Nothing should be guaranteed you need to work for it!)

For example, stuff that sends from the Deck/Extra Deck to the GY is broken depending on whether the target(s) that are sent are broken and how the card is worded, even if the card has a HOPT on it, the cards it may send may be unbalanced, so keep that in mind.  (Remember some "costs" may be beneficial in reality)

Stuff that causes an FTK are frowned upon, as they prevent your opponent from playing.   VERY IMPORTANT if an FTK is possible just make sure it is highly improbable (less then ~20% chance with no interruption even lower with interruption)

Avoid putting unaffected by card effects on every card, as the only way out from this is hard draw a Kaiju or lose, which will cause the opponent to quit.  Not to mention that in the TCG pool, very few cards say unaffected as they are very powerful.  (Kaiju or battle) but in all seriousness every deck should have weaknesses.

Generic Cards

Generic cards can become very problematic in card design when it comes to balance. Take for example, the following cases:

  1. Link-2 Isolde enables any deck that screams Warrior Equip or any Warrior based Deck. (honestly isolde isn't too generic. Accesscode, IP, Avramax, all the knightmares)
  2. Baronne enables any Synchro based strategy.  
  3. Union Carrier caused the buster lock where it locks the opponent out of the Extra Deck.  
  4. Auroradon caused a lot of shenanigans despite it being a Mechanic-Phantom Beast. 
  5. Crystron Halq caused a lot of Tuners to get banned, hence it was limited when the time was right. 

Do not make materials for monsters to be too generic, as that causes a LOT of problems you may not know.  If you are making a generic card, make sure that you are very careful as you may encounter something your card might not expect.  

Other things to keep in mind

The number of cards in an archetype may affect your archetype's balance.  For example, if your archetype has 165 cards just to justify it being playable, chances are that the archetype is badly designed, as that can put the archetype in Tier 0 category and can play through everything.  Like if you think about it, HEROes are the largest archetype, and hence have several sub-archetypes. No one wants to read 165 cards in one submission. (Also remember you can only play 75 unique cards maximum [+15 in side])

Plus also to keep in mind, that if your custom archetype is an engine, it shouldn't enable every single archetype, lest it runs the risk of becoming the next Brave engine.  Engines are meant to help specific archetype(s), not all.  The Brave engine gets a omni-negate for free, which screams very bad design as well.  (generic engines cause issues, you don't want everyone to be playing the same cards. General rule of thumb: the more generic the less power you should give to the effect)

Sometimes what you name your archetype can affect balance as well as it will conflict with existing cards.  To make sure this does not happen, go to duelingbook and type the name of your archetype and look for existing cards, then if the # of cards with that name is zero, that name can be used, otherwise it cannot be used as it will conflict with existing cards. I for one love giving cards synergy with seemingly irrelevant archetypes. Just factor it in to your design decisions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

It's good to make an archetype that is named after an existing card, and if you do, take it into consideration as well. Factor it into your design though.  Now keep in mind the following, if you plan on making that: 

  • Warriors have Reinforcement of the Army as a possible searcher.
  • Beast Warriors have Tenki Formation and Tensu as a searcher and extender respectively.  
  • Fiends have Tour Guide (for Level 3 Fiends) not to mention other support.
  • etc.

Take for example, say someone made an archetype named "Dark Ruler".  Say that there were 2 searchers in that archetype (1 to search out monsters and 1 to search out Spell/Traps).  Even though BOTH searchers are potential Ash targets, the second one is more useful as it searches out "Dark Ruler no More" a potential board breaking card while the rest aren't that good.  In other words, that person's archetype named "Dark Ruler" actually synergizes with Dark Ruler no More.  

In some yugioh custom card servers on discord, your archetype will be tiered and stored into a database. Be aware of the tier and what other reviewers there think of your cards first.  For example, if your archetype is well designed but hardly sees and play in tournaments, then it's a good idea to make support for it as well, but be careful.  On the other hand, Tier 0 archetypes on custom card servers should not receive any more support.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Surge77754
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Regarding what Loleo said, every deck must have a weakness of sorts.  Look at hand traps and other forms of removal the opponent has.  If the opponent cannot hand trap your archetype, it's probably broken.  Hand traps are there to stop what the opponent does, thus putting the end board for the other player to manage.  

If a deck can play through everything, that's not a way to design a custom archetype. That's saying that you only design cards to win, which literally defeats the point of yugioh as a whole.  It's like solitaire - play this or lose, which literally defeats the point of competitive yugioh, as no one wants to play the same deck. 

 

Edited by Surge77754
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

A custom archetype having 2 boss monsters does NOT make the archetype broken.  Some archetypes have those.

A custom archetype that spams a lot does not make the archetype broken.  It depends on the end board that archetype makes.  If that endboard does not want to make the opponent play, you are playing solitaire with your archetype, hence it will be broken as a result.  Like a 5+ negate end board going 1st is very problematic. 

If an archetype is designed to play through 1 or 2 hand traps (e.g. Ash, Imperm, Ogre) which is common nowadays, that does NOT mean that the archetype is broken.  Keep in mind that archetypes (whether they be going 1st or 2nd) have 1 or 2 searchers which in turn are potential Ash targets. Midrange archetypes have this in mind as they have a backup plan to adapt to the opponent's hand traps or possible negates. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Surge77754
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Now another unusual topic that comes up in balancing is what to do with the monster Types in terms of support.  Look at the following cases. 

  1. Warriors have ROTA as a whole (i.e. add a Level 4 or lower Warrior) and Isolde Link 2.  Not to mention Infernoble when you look at FIRE warriors.
  2. Machines have Limiter Removal and Machine Duplication for machines with 0-500 ATK.  
  3. Beast-Warriors have Fire Formation Tenki for level 4 or lower Beast Warriors and Fire Formation Tensu.  
  4. Cyberse have Cynet Mining.  
  5. Beast, Beast-Warrior, and Winged-Beast exist as Tribrigade.
  6. Pyro has support for FIRE pyro with 200 DEF in the form of Rekindling.  
  7. Spellcasters have Magician Souls which is reserved for level 6 or higher spellcasters. If your Spellcasters have levels less than 6 (max. is 5) you shouldn't have to worry about this.  

 

Edited by Surge77754
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that a lockdown based deck requires strict attention when balancing.  This is because if not done correctly, you could be unknowingly play solitaire with your opponent.  To prevent this, you should make your lockdown strategy breakable (i.e. have some way(s) to remove it).  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One way to check to see if your cards are balanced is to reference the TCG meta.  If your cards are above the TCG meta, then it is a safe idea to say that your archetype is broken and needs some redesign.  

And also, to keep in mind, the strongest deck is Ishizu Tears, meaning that any custom archetype that is stronger than it is broken in terms of power.  You can also ask another person to check this claim "X is stronger than Ishiszu Tears." and see if that claim is true or false, where X is the custom card archetype you want to compare.  If that claim is false,  it is accepted, otherwise, it's rejected.  

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Alright - so an archetype can be described as using combo, control, or midrange tactics.  

Control decks try to "control" the tempo of the game as a whole.  These decks put on negates of some sort to try and disrupt your plays.  These run a lot of traps and other disruptive negates to stop the opponent from advancing their game state.  The monsters usually don't have high stats, but make it up for their disruptive effects.  

Combo decks aim to make a very strong endboard by utilizing cards that work together.  Once these combo decks are unleashed at their full power, it will be very hard to take them down on your next turn.  Using hand traps like ash blossom and imperm can affect the endboard of these combo decks.  A full combo deck tends to end on something very strong if left uninterrupted.  

Midrange decks are like the jack of all trades - they don't care about going 1st or 2nd.  When faced against a control deck, they will try to bait out the opponent's negate (although it won't advance their game state, it will make the opponent waste a negate/disruption that they may not be able to get back) as they will attempt to eventually combo.  This is where extenders come in for them - should something happen to them, they always have a backup plan.  Going 1st, they will end on something that will try to stop the opponent from making their move via negates&disruptions (though it isn't a strong as a full control or full combo deck), and going 2nd, they have the tools necessary to break the opponent's board.  

The goal of a going 1st deck is to set up something to try and stop your opponent from playing the game by using various negates and disruptions. In contrast, the goal of a going 2nd deck is to end the opponent as quickly as possible.  Going 1st focuses on negates/disruptions as a whole for their endboard, but you have to be careful not to overdo this as you want your opponent to comback against you going 2nd.  

In contrast to a going 1st deck,  a going 2nd focuses on using stuff like Kaijus, Lava Golem, and Ra - Sphere Mode (which of these you use is dependent on the # of monsters the going 1st end board ends up on), Dark Ruler no More, Forbidden Droplet, and not to mention Lightning Storm to break the opponent's board.  In some cases, if done correctly, it can be hard for a going 1st endboard to recover, but can still fight back in some cases.  Some archetypes have in-built stuff for going 2nd.  Going 2nd will have stuff that boost the stats of the monster(s) in an attempt to set up an OTK (e.g. direct attackers, multiple attackers, and stuff that gives massive stat boosts).  Your archetype may have a going 2nd component and you might not realize it at first glance. An archetype that does not care about going 1st or 2nd is a midrange deck.  

Edited by Surge77754
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

An archetype can be measured on how well it can perform going 1st or second.  Going 1st requires one to invest in a lot in negates/disruptions.  This does not mean that "make 3 negates is enough for big boy yugioh".  You don't need to end on 3 negates to impress a going 1st deck.  Going 2nd requires you to swiftly defeat the opponent with stuff that gives your monsters a massive boost.

 

Edited by Surge77754
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Surge77754 said:

Going 2nd requires you to swiftly defeat the opponent with stuff that gives your monsters a massive boost.

 

I'll just add that going second doesn't have to defeat your opponent in the same turn, you just have to break their board, buying you enough time to set up your own counter strategy. You could end it on turn 2, but some decks like to play it out over multiple turns. The goal of going second is breaking the opponent's board, whether you want to end or set up for future turns.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/10/2022 at 11:54 AM, KH911 said:

I'll just add that going second doesn't have to defeat your opponent in the same turn, you just have to break their board, buying you enough time to set up your own counter strategy. You could end it on turn 2, but some decks like to play it out over multiple turns. The goal of going second is breaking the opponent's board, whether you want to end or set up for future turns.

Thank you so much for telling me this!! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The main Board breakers are Dark Ruler no More, Kaijus, Lava Golem, Ra - sphere mode, Forbidden Droplet, and lightning storm.  

Most boss monsters in yugioh have some sort of immunity that prevents them from being  destroyed by card effects or prevent them from being targeted by your opponent's card effects.  That is where Droplet comes in - by sending a monster as cost to the GY for Droplet, your opponent will be unable to activate monster effects in response to it.  Depending on your custom archetype, it may enable the GY as a whole, or in some cases, set up the GY for certain plays.

Kaijus are a very handy tool for getting rid of your opponent's boss monster.  They Tribute as part of the summoning condition.  Although Kaijus themselves are an archetype, they are very useful board breakers that can help some going 2nd archetypes. For example, there's Crusadia Kaiju.  

Sphere Mode is like Kaijus, except that you have to tribute 3 of your opponent's monsters that they control.  It is hardly played for the effect that brings out the Winged Dragon of Ra, unless you like playing Ra OTK.

Lava Golem is very useful for getting rid of 2 monsters your opponent controls at the cost of your Normal Summon.  

Lightning Storm is very useful for getting rid of back row.  You'd also want to bait out your opponent's S/T negate (if any) with Mystical Space Typhoon or Harpie's feather duster in case the opponent tries to stop you from going 2nd.  

Notice how these board breakers have a limitation on how they can be used.  

Keep the board breakers in mind when designing custom cards as they can give you an advantage going 2nd.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just because an archetype has board breakers that belong to their respective archetype does NOT mean that the archetype itself is broken.  What this means is that the archetype now has a way to play going 2nd using Lightning Storm, Dark ruler no more, Kaijus, Sphere Mode, and Forbidden Droplet along with those custom board breakers.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Surge77754
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Surge77754 said:

Just because an archetype has board breakers that belong to their respective archetype does NOT mean that the archetype itself is broken.  What this means is that the archetype now has a way to play going 2nd using Lightning Storm, Dark ruler no more, Kaijus, Sphere Mode, and Forbidden Droplet along with those custom board breakers.  

You know... This gave me a really weird idea, what if there was an archetype that locked itself out of most generic solutions (namely QP and normal spells and hand trap monsters) and bosses, but had a lot of in archetype ways to deal with situations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/4/2022 at 8:32 PM, Loleo said:

You know... This gave me a really weird idea, what if there was an archetype that locked itself out of most generic solutions (namely QP and normal spells and hand trap monsters) and bosses, but had a lot of in archetype ways to deal with situations.

That would definitely be a good idea, as yugioh should be actually treated as a 2P game rather than one where solitaire is encouraged.  Solitaire meaning that your opponent cannot play.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

It can be hard to tell whether a balanced custom archetype is best going 1st or going 2nd.  Keep in mind that going 2nd means that the archetype can use board breakers to break an existing board.  A going 1st archetype focuses on using negates and disruptions to try and stop your opponent as much as they can.  

Also bear in mind that a going 2nd archetype tends to boost ATK very quickly, and if you see that, that is one indicator that the archetype is suitable for breaking boards.  They may even go for a OTK when the time is right.  

Some archetypes depending on how they are made, can have both going 1st and going 2nd strategies.  

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/22/2022 at 9:57 PM, Lone mouse said:

I made an archetype based off the these suggestions: inkon

That's awesome!!!

Sometimes it would be best to see if given a custom archetype, how easy is it to pilot? Hard means that you need to know what you are doing (e.g. D/D/D) and Easy means it doesn't take any skill at all.  Intermediate falls between easy and hard.  The way to determine if an archetype can be easily piloted is by looking at the combos and what they can do.  In most cases, you have to put some test hands in mind.   

Edited by Surge77754
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...